echoes from emptiness

Category: a savage wisdom

who are you when you aren’t there?

Drawing by Michael Leunig

who are you

when you’re not constantly

re-minding yourself

on social media?

 

when you’re not sharing

your selfies, your mundane and mediocre

daily details?

 

when you’re not broadcasting

your insights, your threadbare, faded

knowledge?

 

what do you see

when you’re not there

telling yourself the old stories

(identify – label – judge)?

 

when there’s no observer

standing separate from

texture, color, energy?

 

when time and space

disappear, taking out your memorybank (poof!)

leaving . . . . . . . . . what?

 

who are you in that apocalyptic instant

when you realise that

every hard-earned conviction you hold

concerning

awakening

enlightenment

salvation

freedom

is merely an empty concept?

 

who are you when you aren’t there?

 


 

[conceptual answers not permitted; keep emptying!]

 


Drawing by Michael Leunig – it also accompanies this post from the early days of ‘the echoes':

sitting in this leaky boat called ‘me’


 

game. set. match.

match. set. game. Photo: Shutterstock

 

One of the most prevalent and persistent myths swirling around the concept of awakening, is that those who have been obliterated by the irreversible EUREKA are instantly and henceforth rendered exempt from all the trials of the flesh that plague “the unenlightened”.

The mind loves to employ this fantasy to critique even the sagest of sages. (“How could someone like a Krishnamurti or a Ramana become a victim of cancer?”) But more sneakily, it turns its scorn upon one’s own delicate understanding.

It loves to hold up one’s (so-called) unattractive qualities – one’s addictions, physical ailments and emotional irruptions as proof that one hasn’t understood anything of import. Really.

What sport it is to watch and listen to this chattering, taunting, would-be bully. For a while you return the volleys. But it doesn’t take long to realise it’s a game without end and you grow bored – you know the score already.

So you serve your Ace straight up.

You simply ask whether the rock-solid immensity of Awareness is being affected, in any way, by whatever is coming at it.

The answer is always the same.

Game. Set. Match.

 


Jiddu Krishnamurti

Ramana Maharshi


In tennis, an ace is a legal serve that is not touched by the receiver, winning the point. – Wikipedia

Image: Shutterstock


perhaps it is time?

 
Photo art by Christoffer Relander
 

would you believe me
if I assured you that
you can never be too old
(or too young)
to meet the unborn
deathless Bright
that is your actual identity?

would you believe me
if I whispered that you
and the world appearing
within that radiant
Knowingness
are inseparable
except in thought?

would you believe me
if I said, No, it is not
too late
to turn in, to dive down
into your immensity
and feel loved again by
your own shy Life?

if your days feel deadened
by weariness and futility,
if your world seems fragmented
and full of pain,
I implore you: please
don’t believe or not believe,
but glance, with thoughts
on hold,
at the ever-present invitation
to check this out for yourself
 
perhaps it is time?

 


Multiple exposure portrait by Christoffer Relander


joy

Dervish Dancer
 

there is a joy
that’s neither an emotion nor a feeling;
that’s unaffected by unkind words
spat from spiteful mouths;
that’s unwounded by hurtful gestures -
off-handedness, rudeness, scorn

there is a joy
that pulses on regardless
of the world’s apparent disarray -
the distress, the abuse and denial -
a joy from which one is choicelessly
propelled into impartial action

there is a joy
that has no opposite, or cause;
it can’t be cultivated or contained,
bought or sold,
given or attained,
yet you’ll never escape its presence

there is a joy
that trashes all your
“teacup ideas” of transcendence;
that sets your wild fearless heart
spinning like a dervish
amongst the sorrows of the world

 


Image: Rumi on Facebook


‘me + world’ or ‘me = world’?

'me + world' or 'me = world'? You get to decide your stand in the great Game of life.

 

everything
is either ‘for’ or ‘against’
your being free

one of my teachers sagely pointed out
that everything is definitely ‘against’

then along came another who shook
her curls and laughed:

it’s all set up for your delight!
how could you bear to miss one morsel?

they were both right of course –
it all depends on whether one’s view
is from the look-out of ‘me + world’

or ‘me = world’

in their compassion and kindness
both gave me the key
to the secret of secrets:

you get to decide which look-out you’ll accept
and which version of the Game you’ll play

you get to decide

yes

you!

 

[That’s the Game in a nutshell. Which version are you playing?]


Image source


the unborn flower of nothing

if you want to know
the Unknowable start by
throwing out the absolute
and the relative and
everything between

and should you be blessed
with the capacity to survive
the free-fall
of your o-so-precious
intellectual infrastructure
into roaring silence
into spaciousness
into stillness

then you’ll know that Knowingness as
“the unborn flower of nothing”
and you’ll be its own soft echo
as it sings its eternal song
to itself

 

the unborn flower of nothing

 

Who would dare to go nameless in so secure a universe?
Yet, to tell the truth, only the nameless are at home in it.

They bear with them in the center of nowhere the unborn flower of nothing: 
This is the paradise tree.
It must remain unseen until words end
and arguments are silent.

- Thomas Merton

 


Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. May your life blossom on the paradise tree, fulfilled and at peace in every way. You are so loved!


Image source unknown – if it’s one of yours please let me know so that I can remove it if you wish, or give proper credit.


on “spiritual inquiry” – be warned

Image credit: Jaypee Online - Flickr

-

if you endlessly ponder

your seeming lack of enlightenment

(the proof of;  the reasons for;  the need to overcome)

your life appears to be unenlightened

and is experienced accordingly

-

if, for one instant, you stop your pondering

the Real is found to be already and always there

(luminous;  changeless;  already perfect)

and your life, in that instant, IS enlightenment

and is experienced accordingly

-

you don’t need to seek or strive or supplicate

you don’t even need to understand or accept or believe

you just need to slow down

get really quiet

and stop

-

how cool is that?

-


Image credit: Jaypee Online – Flickr

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